How To Start A Formal Email

Professional Formal Email Examples: Specific Formats For Specific Goals & Uses

How to Properly Write a Formal Email (That Gets Results)

In order to get a better understanding of how all the elements of an email work together in different types of emails, its helpful to look at some templates. Here, well cover a number of email scenarios and provide you with an example for each one. Each of these letters refers to a specific situation, but you can always tweak the content to make it more relevant to your needs.

Our examples for the most common email formats:

How To Write A Formal Email

Formal emails are required for certain interactions and certain situations. They need to be polished. They need to be professional. And they need to be competently put together.

Thats a tall order, especially if youre not used to writing in a formal way.

And of course, you dont want to look like a buffoon in front of a boss, or a client, or a prospect.

But dont worry. Ive got your back. In this guide, Ill show you how to write a formal email, including the basics of formal email writing and some examples of real-world formal emails you can use to model your own work.

Decide On Your Reason For Writing The Email

Before writing your email, identify the reason that you’re contacting your supervisor. This can keep you on track while crafting your email and ensure that you include all relevant information. For example, if you want to request a deadline change for a project, make sure you include the previous deadline, the new requested deadline and the reason for the change.

Related:How To Write a Professional Email

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How Do You Address A Formal Letter To An Unknown Person

Formal Salutations to an Unknown Recipient: When writing a business letter to an unknown recipient, there are two conventional appropriate salutations. Show respect to anybody who is the intended reader by writing to whom it may concern or Dear Sir or Madam. If you know the recipient’s title, you can follow it with Mr. , Mrs.

Formatting Business Letters: All business letters should be written in plain English without using abbreviations that only people familiar with your field would understand. Use proper punctuation and avoid spelling errors. Proofread your work for grammar and clarity if necessary, have someone else read it too.

When you send a business letter via email, you need to include the sender’s address – either your own or that of the company you are sending it from. Each recipient should be able to see all the information they need to respond easily. In addition, each recipient should know who they are responding to and what role they play within the organization.

It is also important to identify the subject line for each letter you send out. This will help readers find relevant messages more easily. You should use the person’s name as the subject line or something that will help them find their message quickly such as “Accounting Question”. Avoid using generic subject lines such as “Information Request” as these will not catch the attention of anyone special.

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Use Case #: How To Start A Formal Email

How to Start a Formal Email: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

Emailing someone in a position of authority or seniority for the first time requires a level of formality.

You want to ensure that you show respect and youre likely to have that respect reciprocated if thats the type of conversation youre looking for.

There are some cautions to take here, so lets check out the most common email starters.



This is one of the most formal opening lines for an email and should be used when you want to be very polite with a touch of warmth.

Be sure to only use it the first time you contact a person since it doesnt have their name and adding one, e.g. Greetings James, doesnt quite work.

If youre of a certain age, you may remember Marvin the Martians Greetings Earthlings this can be perceived as the highest level of politeness for off-planet visitors!


Dear ,

This is also a very formal way to start an email.

Its a good way to address an email when talking about a job interview, communicating to someone with authority, working in a government department, etc.

It also requires personalization, which well talk about in more detail soon, but suffice to say that addressing a person by their name provides an instant connection.


Dear ,

If you really need to, you can start an email with Dear Hiring Manager if youre applying for a job or Dear Editor if youre pitching to an editor or publisher.


Dear Mr. ,


Dear Mrs. ,


Dear Ms. ,

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What Is Your English Level Take Our Short English Test To Find Out

Wil is a writer, teacher, learning technologist and keen language learner. Hes taught English in classrooms and online for nearly 10 years, trained teachers in using classroom and web technology, and written e-learning materials for several major websites. He speaks four languages and is currently looking for another one to start learning.

How To Write A Letter To An Addressee

As your salutation, use the addressee’s title and last name, such as “Dear Dr. Smith” or “Dear Miss Jones.” Do not add the individual’s first name. If you acquired the person’s name via a mutual contact, provide that information at the top of your letter. Otherwise, assume they want to keep their identity private.

The subject of your letter should be brief but informative. It should include the person’s full name and address. Also include a short explanation of why you are writing them and what it is about. For example: “I would like to send you my resume because I believe it would fit in well with the responsibilities listed on the job site you recommended.”

Be specific and concise. Use proper grammar and spellcheck before you send your email or letter. If you cannot think of anything else relevant to say, simply sign your letter off with an appropriate ending such as “Yours truly,” “Sincerely,” or “Regards.”

If you have multiple letters of recommendation, then each one should be written separately. Each letter should only discuss one candidate. The date should be included at the beginning of each letter.

Example Letter:

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How To Start A Formal Email Without A Name

Weâve written about how important it is to attempt to find a personâs name when emailing them, so weâd always urge you to do so if you can. However, there are likely to be times when this is impossible for some reason.

Some writing guides will still encourage you to use âDear Sir/Madam,â and while a little old-fashioned, itâs still OK to do so if you need to.

While youâre free to use it if youâd like to, we recommend finding an alternative. You can do more research to identify the recipient. If not, here are some other options:

  • Dear
  • Dear

Starting a formal email in English is, thankfully, pretty straightforward. Hereâs an example of how to start a formal email with no name.

Pick The Best Opening Lines For Emails To Attract The Readers Attention

How to write a formal email: Tips & Tricks

Email opening lines are the first sentences of your email message. Dont confuse them with email subject lines. Bothsubject and opening linesare important and help you catch your recipients attention.

The number of emails sent every year grows much faster than the number of unique email users. It means that we receive more and more emails per day.

Well-written private, marketing, and business emails should show that you respect other peoples time. Usually, its best to get straight to the point at the very beginning of your email.

There are four basic types of email opening lines that work best:

  • Offering value
  • Boosting ego
  • Starting a conversation
  • They employ different strategies of approaching the recipient, and you need to determine which one of them is best in a given situation.

    Business Email Opening SentencesBusiness writing should always be more focused than informal emails. A good opening line must be connected with your email subject or at least make a seamless transition.

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    Ways To Start An Email

    Senior Content Manager at Indeed passionate about making career advice enjoyable and accessible, so people feel confident about getting and succeeding in the right jobs.

    The ability to write clear, friendly and professional emails is a foundational skill for your career. Starting and ending your emails properly can help you build relationships and get work done.

    In this article, well cover how to start an email including tips and several email starters you can use in your next correspondence.

    Related: How To Write a Professional Email

    Stick With Professional Contact Methods

    You or your company likely have official communication channels. These include email, a business phone line, or potentially other avenues. When a matter seems pressing, it might be tempting to communicate by other means. However, you should avoid this.

    For example, dont offer your personal cell phone number, or Facebook information. Firstly, this can come across as too informal and unprofessional. Secondly, there is a reason your company uses traditional communication lines for quality assurance and organization. Getting too fancy can actually hurt your bottom line in the long run.

    Also Check: What Does Cc Mean When You Send An Email

    State Your Purpose For Writing

    After your greeting, you need a simple sentence that clearly states why you are emailing. Are you making a request? Providing information? Apologizing? Complaining? Sending a document?

    Get straight to the point with a clear sentence explaining what you want.

    Hello James Bond,

    My name is Joe Milan and Im a Villain Recruiting Representative at WorldTakeOver Inc. We spoke last March at the Villain Conference in London. We would like your help with the Bad Man Conference in Las Vegas this September.

    No details yet, that comes next.

    Spelling Mistakes And Grammatical Errors

    How to Start a Formal Email: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    The recipient may excuse typos or spelling mistakes in informal emails. But theyre a big no-no in a business letter or email, as it can lower your credibility.

    Check your grammar and spelling using any of the relevant tools available online.

    Moreover, double-check the spelling of your recipients name in all formal emails. You dont want to put off the audience with a misspelled name in the greeting or salutation.

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    Be Mindful Of Your First Sentence

    Many people make the mistake of writing a bland or unimpressive first sentence.

    Just like the greeting, the first sentence of your email message determines whether your recipient will read your email or ignore it.

    For this reason, you shouldnt be afraid to dive straight into the point with your opening line.

    If you share a mutual contact with the recipient, start your email by referring to that person or organization. This could help your email develop a connection with your recipient sooner. But then get directly to the point of your message.

    How Do You Start Off A Professional Email

    Searching for some of the Best Email Opening Lines at Work? You owe it to yourself to come up with something better than hope youre well, and weve got you covered.

    If you have ever been on the receiving end of such emails, we are sure you know what we mean.

    Thus, we bring a bag of goodies for you!

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    Pay Attention To Your Structuring

    When crafting the body of your message, look at how youre structuring your core content. Are you writing in concise, direct sentences? Are you separating your sentences and paragraphs to ensure readability? Are you harnessing the power of bulleted lists, numbered lists, bold, italics, and other elements to make things even clearer?

    Email After Completing An Interview

    How to Write a Formal Business Email in English.mp4

    If youre wondering how to start a business email with your potential employer after an interview, heres a great example of a thank you note.

    In this case, because youre now acquainted, address the recruiter by their first name and not as Dear Hiring Manager.


    Subject Line: Thank You for Your Time


    Thanks for taking the time to speak to me yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation about the customer service and sales manager position and appreciated learning more about working with your team.

    It sounds like a rewarding role, given the opportunities for networking and advancement. I think my masters degree in international business, as well as my customer service experience, make me an excellent candidate.

    Please dont hesitate to call me if you need any details or references.

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    Become An Expert In Messaging: Best Tips How To Start An Email

    Were writing emails quite often. Theyve replaced regular mail, but still, when trying to start it, we spend several minutes thinking about the first words. In this article, we will consider how to start an email. Its very important to address other people correctly because your addressee will judge your literacy by the way you start the email.

    We will offer some tips regarding correct ways and those you should avoid. Also, we will consider formal and informal ways of addressing others, as well as, present examples of the best email greetings.

    In case you still don’t want to do it yourself, just ask our email writer to help you!

    Use An Appropriate Greeting

    It can be easy to slip informalities into an email without even noticing. Greetings are the most common place for this. But using greetings such as Hiya, Yo! or Whats up? should be saved for friends and family.

    When talking to a professional, its important to know how to start an email properly. This will help set the tone for the rest of the email. Again, its all about being taken seriously and inviting people to read on.

    A good way to start a formal email could be through using greetings like:

    • Dear especially for very professional/traditional recipients
    • Hi for a more formal greeting, use their title and surname here
    • Greetings
    • Hi everyone

    While its commonly taught in school to address people as Sir/Madam, this is a little outdated today. Not only does this feel as though its a generic message, but not everyone wants to be known as Sir/Madam.

    Ideally, research how they refer to themselves. If they mostly use their first name, then youre safe sending something like Hi Carol. If they tend to use a title and surname, aim for something a little more formal, like Dear Mr. Brown.

    Make sure to pay attention to their title and the spelling of their name. For instance, if youre emailing someone called Alexa Smith and you refer to her as Mr. Alex Smith, youve already lost her.

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